Next Episode of Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is
Akin to TV Tokyo's Folktales from Japan, Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories takes a narrative format to explore the rich occult history from Japan, moreover, the storytelling techniques in this brand new series will mimic kamishibai – a traditional storytelling technique inspired by the artistic usage of paper figures and scrolls. "Yamishibai is a picture-story style of animation whose motif is surrounded and based off the rumors, and urban legends throughout the history of Japan".
Ryousuke, a young man who has always had a fear of thunder since childhood recalls how his mother once told him when he was five, that she will always protect him from thunder. Five months later, she moves out and he now lives with his father. One night, he experiences a blackout in his apartment when all of a sudden, the phone rings, startling him. Wondering who could be calling him at this time of night, he answers. It's his mother. Angry, Ryousuke asks her why she's calling him now after all these years, to which she responds, "It's because you remembered me." to his confusion. She explains how he remembered how he once clung to her during a thunderstorm when he was little. He asks how she knows that, when suddenly, during a flash of lightning, he sees the silhouette of a person standing on the balcony. His mother tells him to let her in, making him wonder if that's her. She tells him to let her in, and wants to surprise his father. She starts knocking on the glass, demanding him to let her in. Ryousuke demands why she left him and his father. But when he pulls back the curtains, he sees not his mother, but his father. He lets his father in, who explains he forgot the key. His father says he wasn't the one knocking on the window as he just got here. That's when the two men realize there's someone else in the room: Ryousuke's mother, much to his father's shock, who demands to know who let her in. Ryousuke explains she called and wanted to be let in. In a trembling voice, Ryousuke's father says that's not possible. Ryousuke demands his father to tell him what he did to his mother. That's when Ryousuke sees it: the rope marks around his mother's neck. "See?" she says. "Your dad...was surprised, wasn't he?" The story ends with a clap of thunder...
A group of high school students are taking part of a tour in the Tomonashi Cave. The tour guide says that it's believed that the wind blowing through the cave can sounds like a young girl's cry. Four of the girls, Tomoko, Ayaka, Kyoukou and Akane; feeling bored, decide to go into a roped off area of the cave. While looking around, Kyoukou pushes Tomoko to the ground and calls her a loser while Ayaka laughs. Suddenly, a sound can be heard. The two bullies force another girl, Akane, to investigate. Akane doesn't want to leave her friend behind, but the bullies force her on. Now alone, Tomoko wonders why her friend left her. Suddenly, the three girls scream for help. Then, there is silence... Tomoko suddenly hears someone whispering, calling out for help. At first, she thinks it's Akane and asks her what's happened. Still in the shadows, Akane explains Kyoukou and Ayaka were so scary, she couldn't fight them and asks for forgiveness. Tomoko says it's okay and that they're still friends. Feeling braver now, she goes deeper into the cave, armed with her flashlight. But as she looks around, she finds claw marks all over the walls and floors of the cave. Then she finds Akane huddled in a corner, looking absolutely horrified. Tomoko reaches out for her when all of a sudden, ghostly hands grab her. Tomoko calls out for her and grabs onto a wall in an attempt to hold on. Suddenly, Akane's face distorts with hate and starts drooling, her eyes gain a milky film, her voice becomes deeper and her head twists around to face Tomoko as she says in a rage, "Who are you calling a friend? You must be joking! Why should I get myself killed for a moron like you? Just die like Kyoukou and Ayaka!" Horrified by this strange hatred coming from her friend, Tomoko watches Akane dance around as she laughs maniacally and chants, "Die! Die! Die! Die! Die! Die! I'm going to live! Only me!" Tomoko cannot believe what her friend is saying and wonders if she's always been like this. Then the hands drag her deeper into the cave, the only sign of her being there are her claw marks. The story ends with the wind blowing in the cave, only this time, it sounds like an exhale.
A salaryman, Hideaki, has just returned home to his apartment when he feels the wind blow. He enters his room and finds the balcony door wide open. Mumbling on how he forgot to close it, he takes a bath. Suddenly, he hears the wind blow again. He leaves the tub and finds the balcony door open again. He shuts it, wondering how that happened. Suddenly, the phone rings. He answers it; it's his aunt. While talking, he looks around the apartment for any intruders. He asks her what's up and that he saw her at the funeral for Asami, who died a month ago. His aunt told him that she's just worried and that she hopes he's not doing anything rash. He tells her he's fine, and he hangs up but not before she tries to tell him about something else... Suddenly, he hears the balcony door open again. He tries to close it again, but this time, it won't budge. All at once, a fierce wind rips through the door, sending him flying onto his back and scattering his possessions about; one of them is a picture of Asami which breaks upon impact. The phone rings again and he answers it, thinking it's his aunt again. Instead, all he hears is static and a voice telling him, "Die." He asks of it's Asami, but the voice just repeats the word, "Die." Hide breaks, and confesses that it was because he was too lazy to save Tarou that she died in the car accident. He asks if she wants him to die as well. However, the voice on the phone becomes clearer. Instead of telling him to die, it's telling him, "Don't...don't close...don't close it..." A piece of paper blows onto his lap. It reads, "Promise! If Tarou-chan isn't here, leave the door open a bit!" The balcony door opens again and something walks in. He starts laughing, realizing that was the reason the door was open. Tarou, the black cat looks up at him, purrs and meows.
A couple who has just recently gotten married moves to a small village in the countryside where the husband once lived as a child. On the way to the village, the husband explains about a "swamp offering", a custom the villagers have held for generations. A person tosses their most valuable possession into the swamp so that when disaster strikes, the object will act as a scapegoat. The husband explains as a kid, he and his friends didn't want to toss their toys into the swamp, so they would throw junk in it instead. The kids were told if they were lying, the Muddy would come and take them into the swamp. The couple stays at the husband's family's house, where the mother tells the wife that she must obey the rules. The wife immediately becomes the target of harsh criticism from the husband's mother, who reprimands her for wearing the wedding ring while washing the dishes. She takes the ring, an heirloom of the wife's mother. At dinner, it is revealed that the village still does the swamp offering custom. On the way to the swamp, the husband apologizes to his wife for getting her dragged into this and tells her to throw in whatever; she brought the pen she once had at school. They arrive at three trees tied together with Shimenawa rope and are told by the village elder to toss the items into the swamp. They do so, and watch the items sink. Suddenly, the wife notices the husband's mother toss one item being into the swamp: her wedding ring. The mother explains that it doesn't have to be your own most prized possession to be tossed into the swamp so long as it's a most prized possession or the Muddy will come and take the thing you really prized the most. In tears, the wife runs away. Back at home, the husband tells her that his mother will apologize. The wife then says it's no need, since it was her fault. She made the decision to be his wife, so she just needs to treasure her more like she said... The next morning, the husband goes to wake up his mother, only to find a trail of mud leading to her room. While the husband looks for her, the wife, with a smile on her face and her wedding ring back on her bloodstained hand mumbles, "Mother, where could you have gone? You are my most precious mother. I wanted you to teach me so many things... Did you get angry and leave because I'm a terrible wife? I'm sorry...my most precious mother..." The story ends with the trail of mud leading back to the swamp, which bubbles, and the mother's words, "...or the Muddy will come and take the thing you really treasure most..." Like the mother said, it didn't have to be the wife's own precious thing. She could use her husband's.
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